Saturday, March 13, 2010
"The individual alone must assess its character, consult his conscience, prayerfully consider all its aspects, manfully struggle against the natural inertia that weighs him down in his effort to arise, shed, heroically and irrevocably, the trivial and superfluous attachments which hold him back, empty himself of every thought that may tend to obstruct his path..."
(Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 148)
As I ended another day of Fasting, these words from Shoghi Effendi popped into my mind. I have been feeling weighed down by "natural inertia", though I don't think I've appreciated it as much as I should. I've been struggling with this in various ways since the outset of the Fast. Actually, it's been longer than that but I think the Fast is serving to bring this struggle into sharp relief.
I'm reminded of another selection from the Baha'i Writings:
"Ye are even as the bird which soareth, with the full force of its mighty wings and with complete and joyous confidence, through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came. Powerless to shake off the burden weighing on its sullied wings, that bird, hitherto an inmate of the heavens, is now forced to seek a dwelling-place upon the dust."
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 327)
God intended for me to be a celestial being, not a terrestrial one. I'm meant to soar. Perhaps this Fast can be an opportunity for me to cleanse my wings, to get back to where I belong, "the immensity of the heavens."
"These are the days whereon Thou hast bidden all men to observe the fast, that through it they may purify their souls and rid themselves of all attachment to any one but Thee, and that out of their hearts may ascend that which will be worthy of the court of Thy majesty and may well beseem the seat of the revelation of Thy oneness. Grant, O my Lord, that this fast may become a river of life-giving waters and may yield the virtue wherewith Thou hast endowed it."
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 79)